W2W4: Nets at Heat, Game 2

May, 8, 2014
May 8
12:27
PM ET
The Brooklyn Nets do not want to return home trailing 0-2 to the two-time defending NBA champions. That won’t happen if the Nets can steal Game 2 against the Miami Heat on Thursday night (7 p.m., ESPN 2) at AmericanAirlines Arena. The Heat lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals series 1-0. Here’s what we’ll be watching for:

1-1 or probably done: The Heat have never lost a series in the LeBron James-Dwyane Wade-Chris Bosh era when up 2-0 (6-0). The Nets have never won a best-of-seven NBA playoff series when down 0-2 (0-4). So yes, this game is huge. Teams that take a 2-0 lead in a best-of-7 series go on to win the series 93.8 percent of the time, according to ESPN Stats & Information (242-16).

Adjustments needed: In their 107-86 loss to the Heat in Game 1, the Nets got outscored in the paint 52-28 and allowed the Heat to shoot 56.8 percent from the field. LeBron James, no surprise, got whatever he wanted inside, scoring 22 points on 10-for-15 shooting. Brooklyn needs to clamp down defensively and not settle for so many jumpers and isolation plays on offense.

Pick it up: Aside from Deron Williams (17 points) and Joe Johnson (17 points), there weren’t many bright spots. Kevin Garnett went scoreless for the first time in his 139-game playoff career, while Paul Pierce (eight points, six rebounds) was ineffective after knocking down a pair of early 3-pointers. Pierce and Garnett did not talk to the media after Wednesday’s practice, and Pierce declined comment on Thursday morning. The Nets need more from the former Boston Celtics in Game 2. Much more. Their starters went to the free-throw line just two times, a telling sign that they need to get to the basket and draw some shooting fouls.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Brook Lopez
PTS AST STL MIN
20.7 0.9 0.5 31.4
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsK. Garnett 6.6
AssistsD. Williams 6.1
StealsD. Williams 1.5
BlocksB. Lopez 1.8